How to Become World-Class at Anything

This is me, from around that time
The circuit diagram for the audio mixer

Practice at the same time every day

I’m pretty good at writing now, and I’m getting better. I practice every day from around 6:30 am until roughly 8:00 am. I get up and I practice during that time. I also produce a lot of high quality content in that time. It’s easy for me to do this now, because I have a lot of competence, and I find it extremely enjoyable to write. I know it would have been even easier for me to get here quickly if I had followed a schedule like this earlier.

Practice for a minimum amount of time each day

Setting a lower limit on the amount of time you will spend on mastering a given skill helps you to quickly bootstrap enough competence that it will become self-sustaining. As some point, you will no longer be able to stop yourself from practicing, and sometimes you will have to force yourself to stop practicing. To begin with, however, a big part of bootstrapping is to decide on a minimum amount of time, and then stick to it. I recommend using my life bootstrapping system to help with this.

Look for little wins

Learn to notice and appreciate micro-mastery. These are tiny little things that you achieve which are like bricks in a building. You might read a chapter in a book and realize that you thoroughly applied yourself to understanding it, and so you managed to understand more of it than you had expected. You might construct a particularly skillful sentence about sentience and then celebrate your cerebrum with alternating alliteration. You might persist in practice through a challenging period, or achieve one tiny part of a skill, even if you then seemed to have “lost” it again (it’s always there, getting stronger).

Understand that learning is exponential

Many processes in the natural world follow an exponential growth trajectory, and learning and mastery seem to as well. This is probably because at each stage future development is informed by all previous development. So the amount that you learn on day ten will not be the same as the amount you learned on day one, it will be more.

Focus on the process, not the outcome

Intrinsic motivation is a desire to perform an action simply because it is enjoyable. Most actions lead to desired or undesired outcomes, and we can be motivated to perform actions in an attempt to obtain a desired outcome or to prevent an undesired outcome. However, the most satisfying way to live life is to enjoy the process from moment-to-moment. This is another way of saying that the ultimate goal of life is to focus on the process, and not on the outcome.


Persistence is key. Keep persisting and refer back to this article to stay on track.

Personal Growth

Sharing our ideas and experiences.

Duncan Riach, Ph.D.

Written by

An engineer-psychologist focused on machine intelligence. I write from my own experience to support others in living more fulfilling lives |

Personal Growth

Sharing our ideas and experiences.